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Mr. Pastorius

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Thurisarz, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    I know Jaco used Roto RS66 strings but what gauge? I did a search on the forum and found nothing

    Thanks! :bassist:
  2. my guess would be 105-45. I think that was the only kind the offered.
  3. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    I lent Jaco my Equipment for gig in '86 in SFO and got to try
    his fretted '61 ? Jazz. When I opened the case he had a package of Rotosounds in it. Red windings- 45-105. Don't
    remember the package #. as its been a few years. :eyebrow:

    His bass was really easy to play with low action. (at least to me.) This was disputed by some of the TB'rs in another thread I posted sometime ago. (who had not tried his bass- to
    say the least, and they had read some other web sites who mentioned Jaco's action was med or high.)
    Anyways what's considered low action is a relative term as we all know. So: my estimate was 3mm from the top of the fret to the bottom of a string: or 3 business cards inserted between the top of the fret to bottom of the string.
    And I have my basses set up that way now too. :D
  4. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    A friend of mine told me that he used 45-65-80-105, could that be true?
  5. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    Well: when I looked in Jaco's case- there was a set of Rotosounds with gauges 45- 105 listed on the package.

    I also was very curious to see what he used. Did not open
    the Rotosound package due to respect to the Jaco.
    And when I tried out his bass- I do remember the windings
    being red.

    Also asked Jaco to sign my Tom Copi photo of him from the
    Joni Mitchell tour and the windings of the strings in the photo
    are definitely red! :D
  6. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    Can you be a little more specific about his string height? Where on the neck are you measuring the 3 business cards? I believe his action was quite a bit lower than Fender spec, although others say it was higher. But. I have never talked to anyone who actually played his bass.

  7. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    Hi Fritz:
    I'm shaking up my memory a bit...as it waz in '86. Being an old man now...
    Didn't think about it where until you mentioned it. No one has asked me that yet. :confused:
    Anyways: My primitive method:
    I was inserting the the cards from the 2nd fret going to the
    3rd fret. G string side.
    If you put your bass on a stand, the bass sits vertical, frets are parallel to floor.
    1)The cards are inserted -length wise.. across the neck,
    2)so they under the B or E string to the G sting side.
    3)the edges of the business cards are sticking out on both sides of the neck.
    4)The cards are resting on top of the fret and touching the bottom of the G string.
    ( or you could put the bass on table and do the same.)

    5) I have a Graphite Guitars 5 String with a Graphite bridge that has shims (which go under the the bridge plate). instead
    of trad. Fender style saddles which raise the action of each
    (Jerry of GGS- was the silent partner of Modulus & started his
    own company many years ago.)
    Jerry designs his bridges that way- So when he builds a bass for me he puts shims under the bridge to raise the Fixed saddles height up to a certain height.( A trad. violin method.) Some tradeoffs.
    So- he suggested this method of measuring string height-
    and I also send him the cards too. Primitive -but it works.
    (and I also don't have the proper tools to measure an accurate string height either)
    My band's website is www.fortesmoothjazz.com if you want
    to see my bass.)
    6) Have tried the Fender sig. Jaco fretless bass too and it also
    seems to high to me. And the strings & feel of the bass were
    really quite "Stiff" as compared to Jaco's bass.

    7) And: when you measure this.. Does this height considered:" low or med action to you?? I'm curious to see what's considered "low" vs what is "med". action.
    (I use 5 string- DR high beams- 40- 125.)
  8. Not to hijack the thread or anything, but what happened to Jaco's bass? Does David Pastorius have it now, or what?
  9. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Depends on the bass. Some people have, one or two are just MIA, gone.

  10. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    Sorry: I don't know what happened to that particular bass.

    I saw him a few other times in the clubs: Once playing on the same show with Bob Weir (mismatch), but he played with a separate band and the same bass after Bob did his set.
    It was sad to see him play after Bob because the crowd was
    so unappreciative of him. and he only played a couple of tunes.( Dave Margen (Santana) was in the audience.)

    Then a couple of weeks later -outside of the a club; He was waiting to sit in with Stanley Clarke's band. He was a little high & kept on raving to me about Fela & him were going release some tapes of their stuff.
    I was surprised too. An unlikely combination!!

    Unfortunately I think the show was sold out, :(
    so I could not get in until last couple minutes and didn't see much. But I heard from some other people: it was great to hear Stanley & him play together!!
  11. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I have an interview with him kicking around somewhere. When asked about strings, he simply said "Rotosound standard set."

    45.-105. sounds right to me.....